6.8
August 28, 2013

Things Your Yoga Teacher is Dying to Tell You (But Probably Won’t).

 

Despite what every ill-informed medical professional tells you, not all yoga is good.

Ha! There, I said it.

Just had a vertebra removed/hernia operation/six months pregnant and your doctor told you ‘yoga might help?’ Then this Power class is for you.

When we say ‘notice any intense feelings in this pose and let them go,’ we mean ‘Stop looking at me like I’m Hitler.’

Please don’t giggle when we say ‘perineum.’ Just think about the muscles of the pelvic floor: how would you describe them?

You in the back, who keeps checking your mobile phone, see the way you’re jamming your arms straight, crunching your lower back and throwing your head back? You know how your mouth was moving before? We’re saying ‘don’t do that.’

Can’t do yoga because you’re not flexible? We admire you more than you realise just for turning up. Having said that, if you insist on contorting your body into the most advanced version of every pose ‘cause that’s real yoga,’ then send my love to your chiropractor.

Like you, our Chakras aren’t always aligned. But when you’ve had a bad day, chances are you can hide behind your computer. When we’ve had a bad day we have to pray like a mother*** that we can let it go before our 5:30 class.

Twenty percent of yoga teachers came to yoga through anger management problems, 10 percent through injury rehabilitation, and the rest of us are raging control freaks trying to keep it in check.

~

Summer Detox at Maya Tulum Resort, Tulum, Mexico- book now and get a discount when you mention Elephant.

~

Most of the time we have absolutely no idea what is going on in your knee, shoulder, pinkie toe. Here’s a tip, if something’s really pinching, don’t do it.

If we drone on about ‘respecting others,’ it’s only because the two girls catching up on gossip in the back row are giving us the shits. That or we’re trying to tell the lady behind you that covering up her hastily smoked Marlboro Lights with lashings of J-Lo’s Dream isn’t working.

Sure, we see you as a ‘whole person, beautiful in your completeness,’ but when you step onto the mat, we also see you as a collection of joints that are in or out of alignment. So when we manually adjust your pose, we’re really just helping you to align, not trying to pinch your bum.

Wow, yes, do answer your texts during the forward bends. Did you come to yoga to just ‘chill, get some me time, y’know tune in?’ Then start by turning off your mutha-loving phone.

We don’t like it when you leave before Savasana, for the same reason that Jamie doesn’t like you taking your lemon chicken out of the oven ten minutes early: you’re undercooked. And also, it’s really rude.

No one cares what you wear. Having said that, those leggings are more see-through than you think.

Like you, most of us can’t put our foot behind our head. And yet we have the gall to call ourselves yoga teachers. Go figure.

In an average class, there’ll be a depressed person, a blissed-out person, and a one-bitten-fingernail-away-from-going-postal person. Some want to sweat, others want gentle coaxing. But if you think our class is “not as good as my other teacher, Satya’s,” know that it’s impossible to please everyone. (Oh and by the way, Satya’s real name is Karen.)

After a long week telling people to breathe in and out, there’s nothing better than lying on the couch to watch a jolly good beheading on Game of Thrones.

If the class theme is ‘equanimity,’ chances are we’re trying not to take it personally that two people turned up to last night’s class. Ditto ‘body love’, ‘Patience’ and ‘forgiving those who’ve wronged us’.

~

Yoga month discount at Dahlonega Spa Resort, Georgia – mention Elephant when booking.

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Some teachers like to be idolised, others don’t care for it. But if you do, you’re 80% more likely to hear that they’ve been involved in a sex scandal or killed their own prey.

Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you eat meat / get injuries / were found drunk in the gutter!’ Yes, that’s right, we’re human. Need to learn from someone perfect? Good luck with that.

The people who tell you how amaaaaazing yoga is are usually the ones who don’t turn up regularly. Serious about your practice? Turn up when you’re irritable as hell, then have the balls to take three deep breaths without running away.

Physical postures are just one part of yoga. There’s also meditation, philosophy and a bunch of other stuff. You don’t have to be spiritual, or even a nice person to try—but if you decide to take it seriously, your life will turn upside down. And it will be worth it.

Your shit doesn’t frighten us. So cry if you need to cry, be grumpy if you need to be grumpy. Heaving sobs in a hip stretch? Excellent. I myself mouthed swear words through my first five years of practice.

You look so peaceful in Savasana. You look like you really need a rest.

We will never tell you what we really think of Bikram unless we are drunk.

 

 

~

Bonus: Yes, I’m a Serious Yogi, But I Still Do These 6 Things.

Bonus: Yoga with Integrity:

Cyndi:

Amy:

Mo’ Richard:

Jeanie:

Ana:

Sadie:

Rod:

Seane:

Bo:

Shiva:

 

 

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Asst. Ed: Renee Picard / Ed: Sara Crolick

 

Image: Pixabay

Reply to Nikki cancel

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Cynthia Reynolds May 30, 2019 11:39am

I have amazing yoga teachers. Thank goodness none of them are this petty. If someone misses that their leggings are see through, my teacher would take them aside and politely let them know, not spend time and energy harboring resentful feelings. Do you really know about what or why those two women in the back of class are “gossiping?” Did you hear all of the conversation or just enough to make your judgement? I’ve never seen a yoga practitioner in my life with their phone next to them during practice. If you allow that, you suffer the consequences. I’m not offended by this article. I just don’t think it does yoga or yoga teachers any justice. Both are so much better than this would suggest.

Julia Mar 16, 2016 6:08pm

I actually teach and this happens but I think if you enjoy your job and you get what yoga is about, you wouldn’t care as much… You cannot depend on the perfect circumstances to be enjoying your work, and sometimes people maybe leave before savasana they have no time but at least they showed up, who knows, there can be so many reasons… I have been tempted to complain about these things too but I understood that the world doesn’t turn around me. It’s harder to be responsible for your own happiness but that’s what yoga is all about.

Nikki Jan 13, 2015 3:42pm

this made me roar with laughter and I'm sharing to my page for the enjoyment of my students .
If you're offended, I think you need a chill pill!
Brilliant

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Alice Williams

Alice Williams is a Melbourne yoga teacher and the author of Bad Yogi, available now at Book Depository. Say hello on  Twitter The Facebook and Instagram. Read more from A.V. Williams…